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The Mourning Bird

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4.43  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  9 reviews
When 11-year-old Chimuka and her younger brother, Ali, find themselves orphaned in the 1990s, it’s clear that their seemingly ordinary Zambian family is brimming with secrets, from HIV/AIDS, infidelity, to suicide. Faced with the difficult choice of living with their abusive extended family or slithering into the dark underbelly of Lusaka’s streets, Chimuka and Ali escape ...more
Paperback, First, 200 pages
Published June 1st 2019 by Jacana Media
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4.43  · 
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 ·  21 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Mpho Mokhoro
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally written. Heart-wrenching. Authentic.

"THEY WERE INVISIBLE BEFORE. The group of teenagers next to the Adventist church on Independence Avenue. The scantily dressed ones who roamed Chachacha Road. The ones who lived under the bridge on Great East Road. The ones along Cairo Road. Everywhere. I never saw them until I became one of them."

This is the age-old story of the tumultuous relationship between mother and daughter; the favouritism relationship between mother and son; the twisted-a
...more
Bijou Theresa
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mubanga's writing is so evocative that you forget you're reading and you want to reach out and give the characters a hug, a blanket, anything to make their lives a little bit bearable. She puts her characters and readers through the most, and that is something only gifted writers can achieve. The prose is effortless and neat. You won't put this book down until the very end, that's how invested you'll be.
I recommend The Mourning Bird to everyone, especially Africans who want to read books that a
...more
Grace Mzumara
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing

If you are east or southern African, you will find this, incredibly familiar. If not, rest assured, this is an authentic East African story. I understood the all ciNyanja. The folktales, traditions and even characters names will have you imagining you were one on them. Which may be the point of Kalimamokwentos writing.
She makes you realise that you could be one of them, that this could be your story. Which makes the story more rivetting
Monica
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Ngila
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great work of writing. I finished reading The Mourning Bird last night with the then-remaining 1010 pages. I loved the Lusaka setting, and this was the first Zambian novel I have ever read. I loved the strong characterization. The 193 pages went too fast for me! I would recommend The Mourning Bird to any reader!
Chinga Zimba
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A story teller who is bold and brave to say the least. As I read the book I found myself smiling, laughing, crying, gasping- so much feeling! When I was done it was like I had a 5 course meal but still wanted more. Mubanga is a force to be reckoned with and there is no calm in this storm😎 . No tip toing over eggs shells, this book is pure brillance!!
Ngosa Chibuye
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I kept reading and couldn't put it down. I like that it has some words in the local language, making it more relatable. The author did extensive research about life for street children in Zambia and the culture. Reminded me of my childhood, the way HIV/Aids affects and is viewed by society and the fragility of life. It is a very thought provoking book.
Chama
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book that makes you live in it and experience the everyday life of Chimuka. It’s painful and yet healing. One of those books you can read all over again. ❤❤❤❤❤ ...more
Beauty Makola-Ezzedine
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book had me ripping through the pages. It is very relatable as well as intriguing. Loved every bit of it, thank you Mubanga for the amazing story
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Mubanga Kalimamukwento
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Mubanga is an award winning novelist and short story writer. She won the Dinaane Debut Fiction Award for her debut novel, The Mourning Bird. Mubanga also won the Kalemba Short Story Prize and is shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. Her work has appeared in The Advocates for Human Rights Minnesota, The Dreamers Creative Writing, The Airgonaut, Overland, The Menteur and elsewhere. From Zam ...more